Real Estate News

    • Decorator Updates That Won't Break the Bank

      26 January 2023

      Are you bored looking at the same old decor around your house? Maybe it’s time for a change. If a slim budget is holding you back from updating your space, here are six ideas to help refresh your home that will cost about $100 or less.

      • Wallpaper a Nook - For a big impact at a low cost, wallpaper a reading nook, an alcove or a study space. Today’s fantastic wallpapers range from retro florals to zingy geometrics, and at less than $15 a roll in the discount bins at your favorite home store, it’s a statement you can afford to make.
      • Create a Sticker Backsplash - If tile is too expensive, consider a backsplash made of peel and stick, waterproof stickers. Just peel and apply them to a clear, flat surface. At a cost of $30 or less for 16 stickers, you can bring a whole new look to your kitchen.
      • Highlight Your Front Door - Choose a stand-out paint color that says ‘Welcome.’ Add a jazzy new house number, a cool door mat and, if the budget will allow it, a bright new door knocker. 
      • Install Crown Molding - Add elegance to a living or dining room with do-it-yourself crown molding. Depending on the size of your room, you can find peel and stick kits, including pre-cut corner pieces, beginning at around $100. Solid wood molding costs up to $4 a foot, but since it’s hard to see at least eight feet above your head, you can opt for a vinyl look-alike for less.
      • Plant a Window Box - Up your home’s curb appeal with a cheerful window box or two, featuring foliage and flowers that complement the home’s exterior. The boxes are available at most home stores all year long for less than $100 each.
      • Hang a Gallery Wall - Make your house feel more like home with a gallery wall displaying treasured framed photos, your favorite artwork and even some of your kids’ fabulous artwork and/or posters. A failsafe way to do this is to create paper cut-outs of each framed piece and arrange them on the floor to your satisfaction first, before you start banging nails into the wall.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why Self-Care Is Important If You Have Kids

      26 January 2023

      Self-care is essential for everyone, but many people don’t know how to take care of themselves or think that taking care of others should be their top priority. Some people equate self-care with selfishness, but it’s actually the opposite. 

      If you’re burnt out, you can’t function your best at home or at work. Self-care is particularly important for people with kids, but many parents focus so much on their children’s needs that they neglect their own. 

      You Can’t Take Care of Others If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
      It’s easy to become so focused on getting your kids to school, helping them with homework, preparing meals, doing laundry and other tasks that you feel like you don’t have a minute for yourself. Parents often feel intense pressure to stay on top of things and to always put their children’s needs first.

      That’s a recipe for burnout. If you’re not taking time to relax, unwind, get enough sleep and care for yourself in other ways, you can become so physically and mentally exhausted that you feel like you have nothing left to give. That can lead to depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems and other physical ailments.

      If you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, you may struggle to keep up with your kids, and you may feel so emotionally exhausted that you quickly lose your patience. Taking some time to recharge can let you be the best version of yourself for your children.

      Practicing Self-Care can Teach Your Kids Valuable Skills
      Children learn a lot by watching what adults do and don’t do. If kids grow up seeing their parents constantly thinking about other people’s needs and ignoring their own, they’re likely to believe that they should do the same. Taking care of yourself can help your kids recognize the value of self-care at a young age. It can also help them understand that other people have needs, too, which can help them develop empathy. 

      Make Self-Care a Priority
      There are many ways to incorporate self-care in your daily routine. They can include eating healthy meals, exercising, getting enough sleep, reading a book, writing in a journal and spending time with family and friends.

      Let go of the idea that you have to handle everything yourself and always say yes to people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. Say no if someone asks you to do something and you feel that you already have a lot on your plate. Focusing on your own physical and mental health will benefit your entire family.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Why You Should Insulate Pipes In Your Basement

      26 January 2023

      The pipes that carry water through your basement may be exposed to cold or warm temperatures and humidity, and they can be susceptible to freezing and condensation. Lack of insulation can have significant impacts on the temperature of the water that comes out of your faucets, your home and your family’s health. 

      Benefits of Insulating Hot Water Pipes
      Insulating pipes that carry hot water through your basement can keep them from losing heat to the environment. Hot water pipes that are insulated deliver hotter water than uninsulated pipes. If you insulate your hot water pipes, you will be able to lower the setting on your water heater without letting the water run and waiting for it to get hot. That can reduce your water usage and your bills.

      Reasons to Insulate Cold Water Pipes
      If you live in a region that has cold winters, you should insulate pipes in your basement that carry cold water to keep them from freezing. Water traveling through those pipes is cold, but the temperature outdoors may be significantly colder. 

      If pipes carrying cold water are located along exterior walls in the basement, they can be exposed to frigid temperatures. Pipes can freeze and burst, which can cause major damage to your house and its contents. Water damage can lead to mold, which can create dangerous conditions and may even make your home uninhabitable. Insulating cold water pipes near exterior walls can keep the temperature of the pipes from dropping enough to cause them to freeze.

      If your home has a finished and heated basement, pipes that carry cold water can draw heat from the house. Insulating the pipes can prevent that. 

      Basements tend to be damp spaces. Water can condense on pipes carrying cold water. Condensation can lead to mold and mildew, which can damage your home and any furniture or belongings that you have in the basement. Insulating the pipes can keep moisture from coming into contact with the surface of the pipes and help you avoid issues associated with condensation.

      Take Some Time to Insulate the Pipes In Your Basement
      Insulating basement pipes is a simple and inexpensive project that you can undertake yourself. For long stretches of piping, you can use tubular foam pipe insulation. For shorter sections and areas where pipes bend, you can use pipe wrap or tape. If you have questions, visit a local home improvement store and ask an employee for advice.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Are You Drinking Too Much Caffeine?

      25 January 2023

      Most people drink coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks or some combination of these on a daily basis. While caffeine is generally fine in moderation, it can have negative impacts on health and wellbeing when too much is consumed. The effects of caffeine and the amounts that are healthy differ from person to person.

      How Too Much Caffeine can Affect You
      Consuming an excessive amount of caffeine can cause a wide range of problems. Some are simply inconvenient or annoying, while others can have major effects on your health.

      Many people who drink a lot of caffeine experience excessive thirst. Frequent urination is also common. That can lead to the loss of vital nutrients. Drinking a lot of caffeine can lead to an increased heart rate and even chest pain. 

      Consuming caffeine within six hours of bedtime makes it hard for many individuals to fall asleep or stay asleep. Irritability and anxiety are other possible side effects of high caffeine consumption. 

      Caffeine can also change the way some types of medications are absorbed and can make them less effective. If you take medication on a regular basis, speak with your doctor about your caffeine consumption and whether you should make changes.

      Some individuals are allergic to caffeine. It can trigger a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, high blood pressure and hives. If that happens, call 911 immediately. 

      Think About how Caffeine Affects You
      People’s bodies break down and remove caffeine at different rates. That means that the same amount of caffeine can affect two people in very different ways. Pay attention to how caffeine affects you. If you notice negative changes in your mood, heart rate or sleeping habits, you may need to cut back. 

      It’s also important to note that the amount of caffeine can differ widely from one beverage to another. Even two cups of coffee with the same number of ounces can have different amounts of caffeine. This is why it’s important to check labels. You may be consuming more caffeine than you realize.

      How to Cut Back on Caffeine
      If you’re concerned about how caffeine is affecting you and you want to cut back, do it gradually. Giving up caffeine cold turkey can cause headaches. Work on replacing one caffeinated drink per day with one that doesn’t have caffeine, or have a cup of coffee that’s half decaf. If you currently rely on caffeine to fight fatigue, focus on drinking more water and eating more nutritious foods instead. If you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with your doctor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Should You Refinish Your Hardwood Floors Before Listing Your House?

      25 January 2023

      When potential buyers look at your home, they will immediately notice the condition of the flooring. If it makes a bad impression, buyers may decide that the house isn’t for them, no matter how attractive and updated the rest of it is. If you’re thinking about selling your home and it has hardwood flooring that’s scratched and worn, you would be wise to have it refinished before listing the property.

      Make a Good First Impression
      Having hardwood floors refinished can cost thousands of dollars, but it will be money well spent. If buyers see freshly refinished hardwood flooring, they will assume that if you took care of the floors, you most likely did a good job caring for the rest of the house. Seeing a house with damaged or worn hardwood floors can create the opposite impression in buyers’ minds. 

      Give Your Floors More Universal Appeal
      Not all hardwood flooring finishes appeal to everyone. If you love the color of your floors, but it may not be a popular choice for others, you can have the wood refinished and stained in a shade that’s less polarizing and will help you attract a buyer. If you have different stains throughout the house, making all the floors the same color will make it more appealing to buyers.

      Sell Your House Faster
      Refinishing your home’s wood floors can help you attract a buyer quickly. You may recoup all or most of the cost of hardwood floor refinishing.

      If the floors are damaged and unattractive, on the other hand, that will be a turnoff to potential buyers. Months may go by without an offer. When a home sits on the market for a long time, buyers often assume that it has major problems and don’t even bother to look at it. Having the floors refinished before you list your house can help you avoid an unnecessary delay in finding a buyer. 

      If You Can Afford It, Have the Floors Refinished 
      If money is tight because you’re saving for a down payment and other expenses for your new house, or if you’re behind on your mortgage, you may not be able to pay to have your hardwood floors refinished. If you can afford to put some money toward repairs before listing your house, refinishing your hardwood floors will be a wise investment. 

      Don’t DIY
      Refinishing hardwood flooring isn’t the type of project that you should try to do by yourself. Even though you can rent equipment and watch instructional videos online, it’s easy to make mistakes. 

      If you refinish the floors yourself and do a lackluster job, buyers may assume that the house has other, more serious issues. If you make mistakes and hire a professional to fix them, you’ll spend a lot more than you should for the project. Either way, it’s better just to let professionals handle it and know that it will be done right.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.